This post contains affiliate links.
It’s baaaaack! Even a pandemic couldn’t stop the annual Target car seat trade in 2020 extravaganza.
There are thee reasons why I love the Target car seat trade-in.
- Expired and crashed car seats get out of family’s cars and garages (without being passed on to other families who don’t realize the dangers)
- The plastics are recycled instead of winding up in a landfill
- Families can get a fantastic, new, safe car seat at a fraction of the price
What is the Target Car Seat Trade-In event?
Every year, Target provides families the opportunity to offload their old car seats in exchange for a discount on a new one. They’ll take pretty much anything – dirty seats, expired bases, booster seats that were in an accident. You name it, they’ll take it as a trade in.
When you bring your car seat to the store and deposit it in the box in front, you get to scan a shiny new 20% off coupon into your Target Circle app. You can use your coupon either in store or online and most major baby gear is eligible.
Even better, the Trade-in is timed to coincide with the major Target baby gear sale! That 20% off coupon goes even further when you use it to buy a great car seat that’s already on sale.
Want to save even more money? Open a Target Red Card to get an additional 5% off of everything you buy at Target. It’s free, and if you’re like most parents it’ll save you a ton of money. Another handy benefit for car seat buyers is that you’ll get an extra 30 days for returns – that’ll help you figure out if it’s the right car seat for your family’s needs. Find out more here.
To be sure you’re getting the best deal, make sure you double check Amazon’s sale prices. They usually match Target’s discounts, so if you don’t have an old car seat to trade in it might end up cheaper.
Read more: Best car seat deals for September 2020
When is the 2020 Target Car Seat Trade-In event?
The Target Car Seat trade-in for 2020 starts Sunday, September 13 and ends Saturday, September 26.
You can use your Target 20% off coupon either in-store or online until October 3rd, so even if you aren’t sure what replacement car seat you want to buy right away that’s ok!
What are the best car seats at Target that you can buy with your coupon?
While the simplest option is to walk into your local Target store and choose from the selection on the shelf, I’ll let you in on a little secret… Target.com has a much larger selection of nice car seats than many store locations. You’ll find all brands and colors online!
Choosing a car seat is like choosing a pair of jeans: everyone needs something different. You’ll want to be sure you’re getting a car seat that fits your child, fits your car, fits your budget and that you can use correctly every time.
On the budget front, the good news is that there’s a massive Target car seat sale running right now! If you choose a seat that’s on sale and stack your coupon on top, you’ll be able to get a much nicer car seat than if you walked in the store on a random Saturday in October.
Check out this list for some of the best car seats at Target to buy with your car seat trade in coupon (prices listed are after coupon):
Target infant car seat top picks
Target travel system top picks
Chicco Bravo travel system – regular price $380, on sale for $273
Evenflo Pivot Modular travel system – regular price $280, on sale for $201
Includes Evenflo SafeMax infant car seat, an excellent seat but not for compact cars
Target convertible car seat/all-in-one top picks
Kids should stay rear-facing until at least 2 years old, and ideally to the limits of their convertible car seat. All of the car seats below are great for extended rear facing until at least 4 years old and will last most kids until 6 years (or beyond) forward facing:
Britax One4Life All-in-One – regular price $365, on sale for $292
Chicco Nextfit Zip Air – regular price $330, on sale for $237
Chicco Fit4 All-in-One – regular price $ 350, on sale for $224
Graco Extend2Fit – regular price $200, on sale for $144
Graco 4Ever DLX – regular price $300, on sale for $192
Don’t buy this if you plan for forward face before 40 pounds, as it takes up too much space for most cars
Graco Triogrow SnugLock – regular price $240, on sale for $173
Target harnessed booster car seat top picks
A harness booster seat, or combination seat, is a toddler car seat for kids ~3 and up. It starts as a forward-facing harnessed car seat and then turns into a booster seat. Some become highback booster seats, and others later become backless booster seats as well.
Chicco MyFit Zip – regular price $250, on sale for $180
Longest-lasting harnessed car seat
Britax Grow With You ClickTight – regular price $300, on sale for $192
Graco Nautilus SnugLock LX – regular price $200, on sale for $144
Graco Tranzitions SnugLock – regular price $150, on sale for $108
Perfect for travel
Target booster seat top picks
Booster seats are appropriate for kids who meet the minimum height and weight requirements and are mature enough sit correctly all the time. For most kids that at least 5 years old, but some kids aren’t ready for a booster seat until 6 or even 7 years old. Don’t rush this step!
Diono Cambria 2 – regular price $90, on sale for $57
Requires a headrest behind the booster
Diono Monterey 4DXT – regular price $200, on sale for $144
Requires a headrest behind the booster
Chicco KidFit – regular price $130, on sale for $94
hifold (full review here) – regular price $150, on sale for $108
Target deals on travel car seats
Are you looking for a car seat specifically for travel? Here are some of my favorites that are on sale at Target during the trade-in event:
Combi Coccoro – regular price $220, on sale for $158 (ages birth-3)
Evenflo Sonus 65 – regular price $100, on sale for $72 (ages birth-6)
Graco Contender 65 – regular price $140, on sale for $100 (ages birth-6)
Graco Tranzitions SnugLock – regular price $150, on sale for $108 (ages 3-12)
hifold – regular price $150, on sale for $108 (ages 5-12, full review here)
Still planning your Target car seat trade-in strategy? Pin this list for later!
Need help choosing a travel car seat? Read about all your options to find the right one for your family!
–Best travel car seats for 1 year olds
–Best travel car seats for 2 year olds
–Best travel car seats for 3 year olds
–Best travel car seats for 4 year olds
–Best travel car seats for 5 year olds
–Best travel car seats for 6 year olds
–Best travel booster seats
2020 Target car seat trade-in FAQs
Yes! It was originally scheduled for April 2020, but now the 2020 Target car seat trade in will run from September 13th to September 26th.
Absolutely. In fact, Target encourages customers to use their coupons online so that the stores won’t be too crowded in the middle of a pandemic. Their car seat selection is also much better online – scroll up to see my top car seats at Target.
The best option is to trade in your car seat at Target to score a discount on a new one. If that’s not possible for your family, you need to make sure someone doesn’t find your expired car seat on the curb and pick it up to use – or sell. Yes, this stuff happens.
Unfortunately, you basically have to destroy an expired car seat if you aren’t bringing it to a recycling program. Cut the harness and take a sledge hammer to the plastic shell. If you happen to replace your old car seat with the same model (which we did after our infant car seat was in an accident), you may be able to keep the fabric seat cover to re-use; contact your manufacturer to see if they’ll approve it.
Some states also offer car seat recycling programs, which you can read about here.
There were Walmart car seat recycling events in late 2019 and early 2020. The Walmart car seat trade in programs were so popular that they had to be shut off early, and disposal of car seats has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic and new regulations from China. It’s not clear if Walmart will continue the program but as of this writing they haven’t announced another round.